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SolmeteX, LLC v. Apavia LLC

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

February 25, 2016

SOLMETEX, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
APAVIA LLC, DENTALEZ INC., AND RAMVAC DENTAL PRODUCTS INC., Defendants

          For SolmeteX, LLC, Plaintiff: Aaron D. Rosenberg, LEAD ATTORNEY, Daniel J. Lyne, Steven M. Veenema, Murphy & King, PC, Boston, MA.

         For Apavia, LLC, Defendant: David Koha, Julie Rising Bryan, Casner & Edwards LLP, Boston, MA.

         For DentalEZ, Inc., RAMVAC Dental Products, Inc., Defendants: Robert J. Kaler, Holland & Knight LLP, Boston, MA; Steven L. Caponi, PRO HAC VICE, Blank Rome LLP, Wilmington, DE.

         MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON APAVIA, LLC'S MOTION TO DISMISS (Docket No. 39)

         TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN, DISTRICT JUDGE.

         SolmeteX, LLC (Plaintiff) and Apavia, LLC (Apavia or Defendant) manufacture competing amalgam separators that are used to remove amalgam particles from dental wastewater streams. Plaintiff's amalgam separator is sold under the mark " Hg5." Plaintiff alleges that Apavia, as well as its distributors, RAMVAC Dental Products, Inc. (RAMVAC) and DentalEZ, Inc. (DentalEZ), are infringing on Plaintiff's federally registered trademark by marketing their product under the name " Amalgam HoG." Apavia moves to dismiss all claims against it, on the ground that it was not involved in developing the allegedly

Page 193

infringing name. For the reasons set forth below, Apavia's motion (Docket No. 39) is denied.

         Background

         The following facts, taken from Plaintiff's verified complaint and attached exhibits, are assumed true for the purposes of this motion. Since 2000, Plaintiff has been manufacturing and distributing a line of amalgam separators under the mark " Hg5." The mark was federally registered in 2002. Enpress, LLC (Enpress), a water filtration company, is the parent company of Apavia. Between 2013 and 2014, one of Plaintiff's executives provided confidential information to senior executives of Enpress. This information included Plaintiff's commission structures, dealer pricing, manufacturing processes, manufacturing costs, testing procedures, customer relationships, and financial results and revenue projections. Several of these Enpress executives then formed Apavia, which began manufacturing and selling a new amalgam separator that competes with the Hg5.[1]

         The two other Defendants, DentalEZ and RAMVAC, are former authorized resellers of the Hg5. They now resell Apavia's amalgam separator instead. Plaintiff alleges that, " [o]n a date as yet uncertain, Apavia approached RAMVAC and DentalEZ with the intention of using RAMVAC's and DentalEZ's well-known connection with the Hg5 to market Apavia's separator using intentionally similar marks." (Docket No. 1 at ¶ 36.) At the Chicago Dental Society's Mid-Winter Meeting in February of 2015, Apavia, RAMVAC, and DentalEZ unveiled the new amalgam separator, calling it the " Amalgam HoG." The full name of the new product, as shown on product labels and marketing materials, is " RAMVAC Amalgam HoG, powered by Apavia." (Docket No. 1-5 at 3.)

         In October of 2015, Plaintiff brought the instant suit against Apavia, DentalEZ, and RAMVAC, asserting the following counts against all Defendants: trademark infringement in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1114 (count I); false designation of origin in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a) (count II); state law trademark infringement in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 110H, § 13 (count III); state law trademark dilution in violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 110H, § 13 (count IV); and violation of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A, § 11 (count V). Plaintiff also moved for a preliminary injunction, which this Court denied in December of 2015, based on a low likelihood of success on the merits. Apavia now moves, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to dismiss all counts against it.

         Standard of Review

         To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, " a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). " A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). Detailed factual allegations are not necessary to survive a motion to dismiss; however, the ...


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